Feel Good Friday: Students say this teacher kept them from dropping out

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LAKEWOOD, Colo. — Perched on the side of Green Mountain, Long View High School takes a different view on how to teach our kids.

Just ask principle Deborah Gard.

“I think that when adults and students choose their work, and when they combine together to form a supportive learning community, it’s not surprising that they all thrive,” Gard said.

You won’t find a Mr., a Mrs. or a Ms. here. Instead you’ll become friends with people like Deborah, Jennifer Perry-Daly and Tylor Boland. Long View High School is broadly described as an alternative, and it is. Tylor’s alternitive to Wheatridge High School was to drop out.

“I had a really low GPA,” Tylor said. “When I came to Long View, it went from 1.8 to almost 2.5. in the first month.

“I’m awesome like that,” Tylor continued, laughing. “I guess it’s just that I really have learned a lot here.”

Tylor said a big reason for his improvement is his teacher, Jennifer. His classmates agree.

“If it wasn’t for her and this school, I’d probably be dropping out and flipping burgers at Burger King,” said Beeric, one of Tylor’s classmates. “She makes it interesting and she makes us want to learn.”

The school’s style and Jennifer’s teaching just seems to work for these kids. If you want an example, take 2008.

When the school was teaching politics, one of the field trips they took ended at the Democratic headquarters. That eventually led to the school getting to take the podium behind President Obama as he gave his speech at the DNC.

On that trip – as well as many others – her students say Jennifer made the experience more enjoyable by making contributions out of her own pocket.

So it seemed all the more appropriate that Jennifer received our Feel Good Friday award along $250 gift card to Key Bank. Completing the scene, her nominator, Tylor, and the rest of her students cheered and lined up to voice their approval.

“I’ve never had a teacher yet besides Jennifer who has truly gone to the max to show that she cares about someone,” Shawnna Rae Jantz, another one of Jennifer’s students, said. “She deserves this so much.”


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